February 14th, 2008
I haven't had too great of a day.
I don't really know what's wrong with me, I just feel completely off today. I mean, for one thing it's Valentine's Daymeaning that everyone is acting completely chaotic in our school, leaving paper hearts and flower petals and deflated balloons all over the hall. I'm not going to lie, it sort of makes my skin crawl and makes me feel a bit desperate to clean it all up.
I pause for a moment at a water fountain, licking my lips, noticing for the first time how parched I am. Slowly I push my mass of curls behind my shoulder and lean forward a little to quench my thirst with the lukewarm fountain water. Straightening back up, I notice a tall form staring at me from down the hall and instantly smile. It's Jack. For some reason, God knows why, seeing his grinning face standing by my locker makes me instantly feel better.
Stepping forward, someone suddenly grabs my arm and turns me around to face them, presenting me with a deep red card and one of those cheesy little box of assorted candies. I slowly glance from the gifts, up to my boyfriend's face, truly surprised. As he wraps his arms around me in a hug, murmuring "Happy Valentine's, baby," I can't help but smile a little and hug him back in return, kissing his cheek for such a sweet gesture.
Out of the corner of my eye I see Jack slump against his locker and run his fingers through his hair and I die a little. He doesn't have a valentine, I think to myself, my thought being caught short as Drake presses his lips against mine.
February 15th, 2008
The ride to school this morning with Drake wasn't a great one. He blamed the radio station he likes not picking up on me and yelled and made a huge fuss about it. He was just being an overall jerk, like he's known to be at times. You know, the points in our relationship that I try to ignore and pave over.
Briskly walking into the school and down the hallway, not bothering to wait on Drake, I rub at my forehead, hoping silently that Jack is prepared for the rant coming his way.
As I reach my locker I notice that Jack isn't there like he usually is. Figuring that he's just running a little late and that I'd see him in homeroom I opened my locker, proceeding in filing out the books I needed for my first class, a large white curved piece of paper falling from my locker and to the floor in the process. Blinking, I lean over to pick it up, unfolding it to reveal a heart-shaped homemade valentine card, "Happy Valentine's Day, Love your best friend" written dead in the center in Jack's very recognizable sloppy handwriting.
I stare at it, a small smile growing on my lips, suddenly feeling very warm. I look up and around myself, deciding to wait for Jack by his locker to thank him for it.
He never showed up at his locker.
February 16th, 2008
Jack hasn't been in school for two days, and I'm really starting to worry. If I had a way of transportation I'd seriously bring him some soup or something. A strawberry basket, maybe. Some vitamins would do him good if he's sick. My mom is working late nights and has the car and I really don't even want to ask Drake to take me to Jack's house. The most I can do to check on him is call and he's too sick to even speak to me
A flash of lightening illuminates my bedroom as I sit calmly on my bed with my blank calculus homework spread out in front of me, Jack's valentine card next to my knee and a cell phone in my hand. I can't concentrate. I just want to make sure he's okay.
I take in a deep breath, hitting the redial button on my phone, not able to cover the look of disappointment when I hear his voicemail for the hundredth time.
February 18th, 2008
"I missed you."
"Did you really?" For some reason Jack sounds a little skeptical and I don't know why. Of course I missed you, Jack. You're my best friend. I can't go two days without talking to you or I'll go crazy.
I didn't have anyone to talk to in my classes." I glance away from him for a second, twisting the tips of my hair.
"You have Casey."
He's referring to my best friend Casey Fletcher, whom I'd known since the day we started school together. I love Casey to death, but Casey just isn't enough, Jack. Can't you see that?
I hesitate. "I know, but
a lot of the time she doesn't sit close to me in any of our regular classes together."
"Why not?" His voice sounds a bit flat and uninterested, as if he couldn't care less why. Maybe he's just tired, I mean he has been sick for half a week.
"The teachers won't let her." I shrug a little.
"They know if she sits near me she'll be really loud."
"Oh." He smiles a little at me, and I smile back, relieved. I smile a little bigger and reach into my bag, pulling out a card and handing it to him. "I was going to give this to you on Valentine's Day, but you left early." I lightly tap the homemade Valentine, glancing up at him. "I mean, I could have left it in your locker, but I was afraid it would get lost."
I can hear the smile in his voice as he leans back on the brick wall we've become accustomed to sitting on after school each day. "Yeah, I don't blame you." He holds the card out in front of him. "Do I get to open this now, or"
"Nikki." Bellows a deep voice, sounding highly irritated, causing me to sit up straight and stare straight forward. "There you are. Jesus, I've been looking everywhere for you and you didn't answer your damn phone."
My boyfriend has impeccable timing.
I sigh, brushing off his harsh tone for now, not wanting his anger to get out of hand.
"Sorry, Drake." Carefully I turn around and timidly start to lower myself from the wall.
I can hear the anger building in his voice, even when I'm turned away. "C'mon, you knew I was picking you up today."
I let out an airy sigh, still trying to carefully climb down from the wall as he just stands rigid, watching me. "Hey, I know, I'm sorry. I didn't realize how late it was."
Silently, Jack sits up and gently places his hands on my waist, surprising me. As I glance up at him with curious eyes, I can feel his hands firmly grasp my waist and lower me down into Drake's arms, Jack not daring to look at me all while he does this. Drake positions my legs around his torso and holds me like a young child, while I'm still staring at Jack.
"Thanks, Jack." Drake's voice is in my ear now.
I curse myself for just staring and murmur a quiet "I'll see you tomorrow", fidgeting in Drake's arms as he carries me away, finding my voice again. "Drake, you can put me down now."
"You kiddin' me? Nah, I don't want you running off to hang out with some other guy and then I can't find you again." He grips me tighter, holding onto my butt.
you could at least not grope me in public." I can't help but sound exasperated.
"There's no fun in that."
February 20th, 2008
"I don't care, Nikki! You're staying here with me!"
And with that, he stomped out of the room, yelling obscenities at me. Why am I with someone who acts this immature? I just wanted to hang out with Casey or Jack this afternoon, I really miss them
February 27th, 2008
I saw Casey and Jack hanging out at the wall today without me. They were laughing about something Casey had said and then they got in Jack's car and left. What's going on here?
March 5th, 2008
Every time I hang out with Jack or Casey here lately it feels really weird. It's like they have their own secret language or something that they're using behind my back. I can see the unspoken jokes they share and the connections they make whenever they catch each other's eye. I'm not going to lie, I feel a little left out. I remember when me and Jack had those same connections
Whatever happened to those, Jack? What happened to us?
March 12th, 2008
I can't hang out with Jack and Casey together any more. It literally makes me feel sick in the very pit of my stomach and I'm not sure why.
I've started avoiding Drake too. I've found that I'm happiest when he's not around.
School, work and studies are now my best friends.
April 1st, 2008
I haven't talked to Jack and Casey in awhile. We talk a little at school in the classes we share, but outside of school I just can't talk to them. There's something between Casey and Jack and I don't like it. I can't face them together anymore without feeling my emotions starting to run out of control.
Maybe I'll get a second job this summer. Something to take my mind off of things. Maybe I could be a camp counselor or a tutor.
June 9th, 2008
Jack surprises me at my locker and I'm anxious to leave and I don't know why. "Yeah?"
"We need to hang out this summer."
I pause. The silence is excruciating and I want to kill myself for it. I don't really know what to say, I don't have the heart to tell him that I have other plans. "Sure, Jack."
September 10th, 2008.
School starts today and god I'm nervous. I haven't seen Jack or Casey all summer and it's literally been killing me inside. I did apply for a job as a camp counselor at the summer camp about an hour away and it lasted for a month and a half. After that I babysat and I really didn't have time to do much else. I did see Drake a lot, though and I think our relationship is starting to get better. Maybe. I don't know.
I can't help it if I see a person differently, can I?
September 17th, 2008
It's been a week since school started and everything seems to be okay. Jack and Casey both understood why I was so busy and they seem okay with it. We don't have many classes together, but we do have the same lunch period, which is good. I can still sense the connection between the two of them but I keep telling myself that I need to get over it. I love Jack and Casey and if they like each other well, good for them. They deserve to be happy.
September 21st, 2008
Today's Casey's birthday. I made her a special little chocolate cake and a homemade birthday card to present to her at lunch. The look on her face when I sat it down in front of her was such a genuinely happy one, I couldn't help but feel guilty for ignoring her all summer. She's my best friend, how could I have been so selfish?
The look on Jack's face perhaps made me feel even worse. He didn't know today was Casey's birthday and he didn't have her anything. She just brushed it off like I knew she would and beamed at both of us.
"Nikki, please don't let me eat all of this."
I smile back. "I won't. This is for the three of us."
Jack is gawking at me. Why is he gawking at me? Casey turns to him and laughs. "Don't make half the cafeteria sing to me."
Jack grins, and so do I. That's precisely what he made the entire cafeteria do last year at my birthday.
"I won't, but I will not promise that people won't chime in."
Before I knew it we were all three singing happy birthday and Casey wore the biggest smile that I had seen on her face in awhile. I'm glad she has Jack. She deserves someone that will make her as happy as I know he will.
October 6th, 2008
Casey and Jack have been dating for a little over two weeks now. I'm really happy for them, believe me, I am, really.
Jack is a great guy and he deserves someone to love him. Casey's a great girl and deserves someone to make her happy. They're just perfect for each other.
She's so lucky. Jack makes a great boyfriend, I'm sure.
I wish I had someone that made me that happy.
As happy as he used to make me
October 10th, 2008
Tomorrow is my birthday and I can't remember a time where I've felt more miserable. I've been keeping myself distracted with extra credit and studying but it doesn't help much.
Just seeing Jack's face these days is enough to send my heart sinking down into my stomach.
He meets me in the hallway just as school lets out. "Nikki."
Hesitantly I glance up at him, plastering a small smile on my face. "Yeah?"
"What do you want for your birthday?"
I pause and stare straight into his eyes, thinking for a moment.
I want you, Jack.
I close my eyes and look away, staring into my locker with wide eyes when I realize the thought that just crossed my mind. I slowly shake my head and exhale, almost sadly. "No
I don't want anything, Jack."
you're sure? Nothing?"
I look up at him and smile for real this time, coming to a conclusion in my head. "Just don't worry about it, okay?"
I'm absolutely positive. I know what I have to do now. Thank you, Jack.
November 5th, 2008
I stand silently at the end of the hallway with Drake as he talks to a couple of his friends. I'm nervous because of what I'm about to do, and I can't help but fidget a little. I steal a glance down the hall at Casey and Jack and grimace a little when I see them hug and smile at each other. Still convinced that I'm happy for them and not jealous in the least little bit I turn back to stare up at Drake.
I turn back to see Casey bouncing over to me with that same elated grin on her face that I know all too well. It's so sickeningly happy that I just want to rip her lips off her face like they do in cartoons.
Wait, what? Did I seriously just think that? God, I've become so messed up.
"Do you wanna ride home with me and Jack today? I thought it'd be fun to hang out."
I smile at her. God, Casey I love you. I definitely don't deserve you as a friend. You and Jack should just go off and start a new life together and I'll just go and start a new life in a different country or something.
"Oh, that's alright, I'll just ride with Drake. I have something I need to tell him."
She doesn't bother to hide the abrupt look of disappointment, but instantly replaces it with another bright grin. "Okay, another time I guess."
Drake pulls up to the front of the school in his car and I'm nervous as I situate myself in the front seat and he pulls out of the parking lot.
"So, babe. Got any plans this weekend?"
Fidgeting, I just shrug.
what the hell was that? Give me a straight answer."
I sigh. "I don't know. Drake
we need to talk about something
" I bite my lip, not sure how I was going to pull this off.
I fall silent. I don't know how to go about doing this. I've never had to do this before and to be honest, I'm really scared.
After a couple of minutes of agonizing silence I finally utter the words that have been on my mind for awhile now.
"I want to break up."
Drake jerks his head to look at me. "Break up? What the
I can't look at him. "I just don't
feel anything for you anymore, Drake."
"You've got to be shitting me. You're breaking up with me?" He sounds really angry.
"Well yeah, but I"
"If you would have just stopped being a pussy and had sex with me by now, you wouldn't have lost your feelings for me! You know what, NO. No, you're not breaking up with me. I'm breaking up with you."
Drake slammed on the brakes, jerking both of us forward. He glares hard at me.
I finally look over at him, surprised. "H-huh?"
"Get the hell out of my car."
I hesitate, looking outside the window. We're not near my house at all; in fact we're miles away from it in the middle of nowhere.
"I said get out!"
I jump a little, taking off my seat belt and stepping out of the car. Drake didn't even wait for me to shut the door, taking off as soon as I was out of his car.
Clutching my binder to my chest I glance around and shiver at the chilling breeze, my face feeling very hot. Trying to swallow a lump in my throat that just won't go down, I pull out my phone, dialing the only person's number that I knew could help me.
He picks up after the first ring. "Hello?"
Somehow I find my voice, choking out. "J-Jack? I-It's Nikki."
He doesn't answer at first. He can see right through me, even on the phone. "
A-Are you okay?"
The sound of his voice is enough to make me want to fall apart right there on the spot and I can't control the stream of tears that are now falling down my face. "N-No, I just
" I look around, not sure what to do. "
C-could you p-pick me u-up? P-Please?"
"Y-Yeah, where are you?"
"A-a couple of miles from my house
I stay on the phone with Jack, even though I'm not saying anything and I'm on the verge of breaking down in tears, and it doesn't take him long to find me, standing on the corner in the middle of nowhere.
As soon as he pulls up beside me I open the door and get into the car. My tears feel like they're freezing to my face and out of the corner of my eye I can see Jack staring at me with his eyebrows creased.
I just sit there for a moment, not sure what to say. Slowly I turn around to grab my seat belt, discretely trying to wipe at my face. Jack gently takes my binder from my lap, sitting it on the floor of the car and I finally glance over, murmuring a quiet "Thank you".
We sit there for a while and Jack turns off the ignition in the car. He wants to know what happened but he's not prying at me for answers. Slowly I breathe in a deep channel of air and I break the silence.
"I broke up with Drake."
All I receive in response is stunned silence, before he stutters out a "What?"
My face crumples and I turn towards the window again. It hurt just to say it the first time.
left you out here? It's really cold out there and
" A scowl gathers on his face and his eyebrows knit together and he looks like he could just wring Drake's neck for even thinking about doing something so cold, and the look in his eyes causes even more tears gather in mine.
I hunch over a little and rest my forehead on my knees and I can hear Jack lean a little closer. "Nik
d-did he hurt you?"
I struggle to find my voice for a moment. "N-No."
He places his hand on my back, sounding so sincere. "I'm sorry
Nikki, I'm so sorry
To my surprise, he leans even closer and envelopes me in a warm embrace, rubbing at my back and resting his head against mine. My face is burning, and my heart is pounding in my earsI feel nauseous and like I might just pass out, but
It feels so right. Damn it, why does this feel so right?
why can't every guy be as nice as you, Jack?"
He pauses. The seconds seem excruciating and I'm silently hoping he takes the hint.
"There's a lot of nice guys out there, Nikki
You just need to find him."
I just need to find him.
But, I already have. I was too stupid to realize it, and now he's gone.
This thought made me want to cry even more than being dumped on the side of the road.